Annual Starfish Luncheon Presented by Wells Fargo to Benefit Families Affected by Domestic Violence

Women In Distress

FORT LAUDERDALE –  Community philanthropists Sun Capital Partners Foundation, Inc. and The Leo Goodwin Foundation, along with a survivor of domestic violence will be honored by Women In Distress of Broward County at the 9th Annual Starfish Luncheon Presented By Wells Fargo on May 13 at the Signature Grand in Davie.

This annual event helps Women In Distress provide critical services to families affected by domestic violence. Proceeds from the previous luncheon provided more than 1,900 nights of safe shelter to women, men and children who were fleeing from an abusive situation. This year’s event will close out a milestone 40th anniversary celebration for the agency, which was kicked off in 2014 with the Starfish Gala. Since 1974, Women In Distress has been providing an environment that helps participants recover from the traumatic effects of victimization and develop an understanding and awareness of the dynamics of domestic violence by empowering them to gain independence and self-sufficiency. The agency currently operates a 132 bed shelter as well as an outreach center at Jim & Jan Moran Family Center. All services are free and confidential.

This year’s luncheon is being chaired by Karen Leikert, Senior Vice President Commercial Banking for Wells Fargo who also is a member of the Board of Directors of Women In Distress. More than 500 guests are expected to attend.

“We’re so proud to honor those who have helped us in our efforts to keep families safe these 40 years, while raising awareness for an issue that all too often remains behind closed doors,” said President and CEO Mary Riedel.  “This event gives us an opportunity to hear first-hand from survivors and learn how lives can be transformed with support from our community.”

The luncheon will begin with a silent auction at 11 a.m., followed by the program at 12 p.m.  Individual luncheon tickets are $85, table sponsorships are $1,500, and journal ads start at $100. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.

In addition to Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo, event sponsors include Lorraine Thomas, JM Family Enterprises and Southeast Toyota Distributors, ADT, Thomas Family Foundation, Sun Sentinel, Miami Dolphins, Rick Case Automotive Group, Signature Grand, Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc., Holy Cross Hospital, Wayne and Marti Huizenga, and Comerica.

For more information on the Starfish Luncheon Presented by Wells Fargo or to purchase tickets online, visit or contact Mary Helen Olejnik at 954-760-9800 x 1244 or [email protected].

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